2014

Practical Application and Interpretation of Benchmarking Data, a Pigchamp Survey

Numbers are everywhere in pork production. From the simplest sow cards to custom, user-defined reports generated in PigCHAMP, collecting, managing and scrutinizing data related to your operation can provide a great deal of insight. Whether you have underperforming sows or high cull rates, information is vital to maximizing efficiency and ensuring a correction can be made in problem areas.

That is all well and good, but looking at information through a focused lens designed to contrast, compare and define performance is what benchmarking is all about. The knowledge gained through benchmarking can put an extra context into how you examine data. Whether your concentration is on parsing out data within your operation to monitor successes and failures, viewing a “state-of-the-industry” report, seeing how your operation stacks up compared to others, or making note of specific trends and outliers, benchmarking offers a unique look at pork production.

Because of these factors, we at PigCHAMP wanted to get a better idea of just how the data and results are put to use and what measurements present the most valuable information. The following charts and short answers are the results of a recent survey offered to PigCHAMP customers who take advantage of the benchmarking service.

So based on actual cost of NPD (dollars spent) we should be using a value 40% higher than the old adage of 2 bucks a day! Let’s change perspective and look at the opportunity cost of having an empty sow parked in a gestation space, rather than a pregnant sow.

OTHER RESPONSES


“The variation reveals opportunity for increased production.”

“My agency is way behind the modern times in regards to production. My facility has the highest production of all five farrow-to-finish farms we have. It gives me real time goals to shoot for and lets my boss see how well I am doing and how poor the others really are.”

CONSIDERING THOSE FIVE AREAS, WHY ARE THEY CRUCIAL TO YOUR OPERATION?


“They give me an idea of the direction of production.”

“It’s how we determine if the farm is making money at the present moment or in the future.”

“For me, if you have those five measurements under control, things can only go forward on your unit.”

“They directly affect production.”

“I think they are the most correlated with increased throughput.”

“These are the areas that are good indicators of productivity and that have a direct influence on profitability.”

“These parameters give a holistic view of your sow reproductive outputs, taking every step into account: service performance, dry sow management, litter sizes, piglet survivability, sow milking ability and non-productive days.”

“They are the basic numbers that tell us how we are doing.”

OTHER RESPONSES:


“Kg sow/year.”

“The real measure for us is profit per sow per year.”

“It’s how we determine if the farm is making money at the present moment or in the future.”

WHAT CAN THE DATA PROVIDED THROUGH BENCHMARKING TELL YOU ABOUT YOUR

OPERATION THAT YOU MAY OTHERWISE NEVER KNOW?


“How we compare to other farms.” “Whether we’re productive or if we’re suffering.”

“The data provided can show me if the unit I’m running is still on track with the other units, or if I need to put in more effort.”

“Helps me understand where the gaps are.” “Highlights our strengths and weaknesses. We can then focus our efforts on weak areas.”

“Pigs are improving every year, so we need to be improving every year. By seeing local and international results, we can see where we are competing and where we are falling behind.”

“It is a comparison to real data that would normally not be transparent. Farmers are reluctant to share real data, and one tends to take any other survey with a pinch of salt. The PigCHAMP benchmarking can be trusted.”

“It lets us know where the easiest dollars are. If we are already in the 90th percentile for number/weaned, I won’t work on that. If we are in the 30th percentile for farrowing rate, there is a lot of easy money to make there.”